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Astor Chocolate vs Ethel M

Friday, June 14th

2024 Chocolate Store Reviews

Astor Chocolate Review 3 Star Rating

Astor Chocolate

3 Star Rating
  • Premium Belgian chocolates
  • Vegan-certified options
  • Ethically-sourced and produced
  • 4th generation family business
  • In operation for over 95 years
  • Free ground shipping on orders of $75+
  • 100% satisfaction guarantee

Pioneering milestones such as importing pure Belgian chocolate to the US and introducing confections to luxury hotel guests have solidified Astor's reputation as a purveyor of chocolate luxury worldwide. In their online store, you'll find the famous turndown pillow squares, even in flavors to help you rest more peacefully, plus the fun-loving Moodibars collection and more. However, the site isn't as polished as one would expect for a high-end chocolatier, the selection is narrower than some of Astor's rivals, and the shipping policies aren't as generous. And, the gift-giving options fail to impress, with some options simply out of stock and nothing that really speaks to "special occasions" . For all of these reasons, Astor Chocolate earns a "just average" rating.

Ethel M Review 4.5 Star Rating

Ethel M

4.5 Star Rating
  • Chocolates made in small batches with no artificial preservatives
  • Unique flavors include prickly pear, liqueurs, and more
  • Beautiful packaging suited for gift-giving
  • Part of the Mars/M&M brand family
  • Free shipping on orders of $50+ with code
  • Free shipping on orders of $100+ without code
  • 100% unconditional guarantee

Ethel M Chocolates, founded by Forrest Mars of the Mars/M&M brand family, celebrates 40 years of delivering handcrafted treats often inspired by the Mojave Desert's essence. With an unwavering commitment to quality and creativity, Ethel M offers small-batch chocolates made without artificial preservatives, featuring unique flavors like prickly pear and top-shelf liqueurs. Their Custom Chocolate Box, adorned with beautiful packaging, allows you to select from a wide array of flavors, while the Signature Pecan Brittle Collection remains a bestseller. Ethel M excels in gift-giving, offering options for every budget and occasion. Although shipping costs may vary, Ethel M provides a 100% unconditional guarantee, backed by rave reviews from chocolate enthusiasts worldwide. Despite its association with Mars, Ethel M stands out for its artisanal approach, making it a top choice for chocolate aficionados seeking exceptional taste experiences.

Where Can You Find the Best Chocolate?

Chocolate is more than just a sweet treat; it's a global phenomenon deeply entrenched in cultures worldwide. Its popularity transcends borders and generations, captivating taste buds for centuries. But what makes chocolate so beloved, and what factors contribute to its widespread appeal?

First and foremost, chocolate's allure can be attributed to its irresistible taste. The combination of sweetness, bitterness, and creaminess creates a sensory experience like no other. This flavor profile stems from the main ingredient: cocoa beans. These beans undergo a complex process of fermentation, drying, roasting, and grinding to produce cocoa solids and cocoa butter, the building blocks of chocolate.

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Chocolate Store FAQ

According to the World Cocoa Foundation, people around the world - mostly in the US and Europe, not surprisingly - eat enough chocolate to equal three million cocoa beans every year! Chocolate is the most popular sweet tooth-satisfying dessert almost everywhere.
The sky's the limit. Do you have a favorite brand like Godiva or Hershey's? You'll find every imaginable variety when you shop online. Are you looking for a unique flavor combination or a gorgeous assortment of hand-dipped caramels and truffles? You can get that too. The difficult thing will be holding yourself back from buying all of them!
Supporting small businesses and shopping local is great - and your closest candy shop may even sell their products online too. But, there's no guarantee you'll get the kind of chocolate you want if you limit yourself to brick-and-mortar retailers you can drive to. And, if you're ordering chocolate to give as a gift, you'll probably have more options for gift packaging and shipping when you buy from an online chocolate store.
Chocolate! (Just kidding.) The best chocolate stores make it easy to see the different types of sweets they sell and how much you'll pay, plus any shipping costs you should expect. Some stores have fun promotions that can save you money or double the amount of chocolate in your order. You can also consider what other customers have said about their experience with the chocolate retailer: how the treats taste, if the deliveries arrive on time and in good condition, and how any problems were resolved by the customer service team.
It can be - but it doesn't have to be. If you're buying chocolates in large quantities and exotic flavors, of course you should expect to pay more. But, chocolate stores usually have plenty of options for people shopping on a budget too.
That depends on the chocolate store. Some give you free shipping to earn your business, but you might have to place a minimum order amount to qualify. It should be fairly easy to determine what, if anything, you'll pay for delivery as you browse their website.
Yes, most of the time. Online chocolate stores want you to be thrilled with the sweets you get - after all, word of mouth is great for advertising, and they'd love for you to tell everyone you know about the amazing chocolates they sell. If your chocolate doesn't arrive in perfect condition, or something is just off with the taste, contact the customer service team. It shouldn't be hard to get a refund or replacement order.
Yes, yes and yes! Some chocolate shops provide numerous options for gifting, from mixed assortments to hard-to-find varieties in beautiful gift wrapping. You could even choose a chocolate club membership that will literally be a gift that keeps on giving, with new packages arriving every month for three months to a year.
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Continued from above...

Nowadays, chocolate production and consumption are staggering. According to the International Cocoa Organization, global cocoa production recently reached over 4.8 million metric tons, with the top producers being Ivory Coast, Ghana, and Indonesia. As for consumption, Switzerland tops the charts, with an average annual consumption of over 8.8 kilograms per capita.

Furthermore, chocolate is associated with indulgence and comfort. Many people turn to chocolate during times of stress or as a reward for a job well done. Its mood-boosting properties are attributed to various compounds, including phenylethylamine, which is believed to promote feelings of happiness and euphoria.

From a cultural perspective, chocolate holds significant symbolism. It's a staple in celebrations and rituals worldwide, from Valentine's Day to religious holidays like Easter. Additionally, chocolate has a rich history intertwined with ancient civilizations like the Maya and Aztecs, who revered cocoa as a divine gift.

As for trends in the world of chocolate, several exciting developments are worth noting. Consumers are increasingly interested in the bean-to-bar process, where chocolatiers oversee every step of production, from sourcing beans to crafting the final product.

There's also a growing demand for artisanal and craft chocolates made in small batches with high-quality ingredients. These chocolates often showcase unique flavor combinations (like spices, herbs, and exotic fruits) and innovative techniques. And, with a renewed focus on wellness in general, there's a rise in demand for healthier chocolate alternatives, such as sugar-free, dairy-free, and vegan options made with alternative sweeteners and plant-based milk.

Luckily for the sweet tooth in all of us, it's never been easier to access the world's best chocolates. All it takes is a few clicks and you're there. But, when purchasing chocolate online, there are several factors to consider to ensure you're getting the best quality and smoothest shopping experience:

  • Overall selection. The greater the variety of chocolates, the more likely you are to find something you just can't resist.
  • Cocoa content and bean origin. Higher cocoa content typically indicates better quality chocolate. Look for dark chocolate with at least 70% cocoa solids for a richer flavor and health benefits. Also, pay attention to the origin of the cocoa beans. Single-origin chocolates offer unique flavor profiles, showcasing the terroir of the region where the beans were grown.
  • Fair trade and sustainability. Support brands that prioritize fair trade practices and sustainable sourcing. Look for certifications like Fair Trade, Rainforest Alliance, or UTZ to ensure ethical production.
  • Gift-giving options. With chocolate being one of the most popular ways to say, "I love you" or "Congratulations" , choosing a chocolate store that offers easy ways to send treats to your loved ones can make your life easier (and their life sweeter).
  • Reviews and reputation. Before making a purchase, read customer reviews and research the brand's reputation. Trusted chocolatiers often have a loyal following and positive feedback. The stores with the best reputation often have a solid satisfaction guarantee, offering a refund or exchange if something doesn't arrive in perfect condition.

Chocolate's enduring popularity is a testament to its irresistible taste, cultural significance, and mood-boosting properties. The experts at Top Consumer Reviews have meticulously evaluated and ranked some of today's most popular chocolate stores, to help guide you on your journey towards an exceptional chocolate experience. We hope you'll enjoy discovering new flavors and savoring traditional favorites!

Compare Chocolate Stores

Select any 2 Chocolate Stores to compare them head to head

best-chocolate-stores
  • Z Chocolat
  • Gearharts Fine Chocolates
  • Ethel M
  • Simply Chocolate
  • Vosges Haut-Chocolat
  • Lindt
  • Ghirardelli
  • Astor Chocolate
  • Russell Stover
  • Godiva
Z Chocolat vs Gearharts Fine Chocolates Z Chocolat vs Ethel M Z Chocolat vs Simply Chocolate Z Chocolat vs Vosges Haut-Chocolat Z Chocolat vs Lindt Z Chocolat vs Ghirardelli Z Chocolat vs Astor Chocolate Z Chocolat vs Russell Stover Z Chocolat vs Godiva Gearharts Fine Chocolates vs Ethel M Gearharts Fine Chocolates vs Simply Chocolate Gearharts Fine Chocolates vs Vosges Haut-Chocolat Gearharts Fine Chocolates vs Lindt Gearharts Fine Chocolates vs Ghirardelli Gearharts Fine Chocolates vs Astor Chocolate Gearharts Fine Chocolates vs Russell Stover Gearharts Fine Chocolates vs Godiva Ethel M vs Simply Chocolate Ethel M vs Vosges Haut-Chocolat Ethel M vs Lindt Ethel M vs Ghirardelli Ethel M vs Astor Chocolate Ethel M vs Russell Stover Ethel M vs Godiva Simply Chocolate vs Vosges Haut-Chocolat Simply Chocolate vs Lindt Simply Chocolate vs Ghirardelli Simply Chocolate vs Astor Chocolate Simply Chocolate vs Russell Stover Simply Chocolate vs Godiva Vosges Haut-Chocolat vs Lindt Vosges Haut-Chocolat vs Ghirardelli Vosges Haut-Chocolat vs Astor Chocolate Vosges Haut-Chocolat vs Russell Stover Vosges Haut-Chocolat vs Godiva Lindt vs Ghirardelli Lindt vs Astor Chocolate Lindt vs Russell Stover Lindt vs Godiva Ghirardelli vs Astor Chocolate Ghirardelli vs Russell Stover Ghirardelli vs Godiva Astor Chocolate vs Russell Stover Astor Chocolate vs Godiva Russell Stover vs Godiva
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